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Microsoft hires law firm to review Bill Gates inquiry, sexual harassment policies

Microsoft Bill Gates sexual harassment
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The board of directors of Microsoft has hired a reputable law firm to review the effectiveness of the company’s sexual harassment and gender discrimination policies and practices, including the investigation into Bill Gates.

The report by law firm Arent Fox will summarise the findings of any sexual harassment investigations against members of the Board of Directors and the company’s senior leadership team, including allegations involving Microsoft co-founder and billionaire philanthropist Gates that a Board committee investigated beginning in 2019.

“We’re committed not just to reviewing the report but learning from the assessment so we can continue to improve the experiences of our employees. I embrace this comprehensive review as an opportunity to continue to get better,” said Satya Nadella, Microsoft’s Chairman and CEO.

Following the completion of the review, the Board will issue a comprehensive transparency report to employees, shareholders, and the public, which is expected in the spring of this year.

The review will include concerns raised by employees in the “In Need of Assistance” email thread in 2019, steps taken by the company to address these concerns, and additional steps that could strengthen these safeguards.

The email thread came after a class-action lawsuit was filed in March 2018 alleging 238 cases of sexual harassment and/or discrimination against female Microsoft employees between 2010 and 2016.

The review will also include an examination of policies, practises, and commitments to fostering a safe and inclusive workplace.

“It will assess the steps that have been taken to hold employees, including executives, accountable for sexual harassment or gender discrimination. The report will include data on the number of sexual harassment cases investigated and their resolution,” Microsoft said.

Arjuna Capital, a Microsoft shareholder and activist, had requested a report from Microsoft on the effectiveness of its workplace sexual harassment policies.

Following the announcement of Gates’ divorce from his wife, Melinda French Gates, media reports surfaced about alleged inappropriate behaviour by him toward Microsoft employees.

In 2019, Microsoft received a complaint while Gates was on its board of directors.




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